Ilene Babendure

” Babendure Family “


Name: Babendure, Ilene

Address: 16132 FM 244, Iola

Ilene Babendure is a loving, precious woman who has recently been widowed after 35 years of marriage.  Her and her late husband Stuart suffered many hardships in their recent lives, but you would never have known it from their continued giving to others and helping out at their church, Aldersgate United Methodist.

They moved to this area in 1991 for Ilene to work at the new Randall’s grocery store.  Shortly after buying a new home, they found out that the store was closing and she lost her job.  Due to health issues sometime after 1996, she had to file for disability due to issues with her knees, ankle, diabetes and arthritis.  This however never stopped her from volunteering at the church – helping to host dinners, answering phones, working with Angel Food Ministries, baking cookies for birthdays, and just about anything else that was needed.  Stuart also volunteered at the church, right alongside Ilene most of the time, and he also agreed to be on a maintenance volunteer group for 1 year, which actually turned into over 5 years, until the time of his death.  Stuart was also on social security, so this put them on a strict fixed income.  They always kept their gas tank full as they have a friend with an auto immune disease that may need to go out of town for treatments or a doctor’s appointment unexpectedly.  They always found a way to do things for others, sometimes just a phone call or a visit to let people know they care.

About 5 years ago their daughter Trisha Sloan died unexpectedly in a car accident.  Stuart and Ilene had been taking care of their grandson since 2002, letting him stay with them to attend school.  After Trisha’s death, they became his sole means of support.

Stuart passed away in July 2011 and they had no insurance.  This has left Ilene on her own, with limited income, taking care of her grandson and trying to make ends meet each month.  In an attempt to make a little money she had looked into part time work.  In 2000 she found she could work at the Census as it was a government agency and she could work 9 months without interfering with her disability.  During the 2010 Census she again took a part time desk job with them so she could sit down due to her health.  After having worked there for a while, she was told she was not allowed to work for as long as she had.  The 9 months was not per job, or per year, but for the entire time she was on disability.  She was taken off of disability and put on social security at a reduced amount, and was also informed she owed back payments.  Some of this has since been worked out, however, her social security was less than her disability was.  Now that she is over 65, and has been taken off disability there are various programs that she is no longer eligible for.  Due to the back payments, reductions are being taken out of her monthly checks.  She is also not eligible for widow’s benefits either because Stuart’s check was lower than her check.

Overall since her husband’s death, her income has basically been cut in half.  This decrease has made it impossible to have any extra money available for the repairs that come up and are needed.  We know she cannot afford to put a new roof on her home.  It has numerous leaks and will continue to deteriorate as time goes on.  This will soon start to affect the condition of her walls and floors.

In putting this together, we contacted Ilene to double check some the facts and time frames.  When she found out what we were doing she was touched and said Thank You, but she also said she imagined there were people out there that need this more than her.  This is the best example we can give you of the type of person she is.  Loving, considerate, and grateful for what she has.  Always thinking of others before her and trying to manage and just get by with what she has.

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